What to wear to your office holiday party this year, according to a stylist

  • Ahead of the holidays, you might be wondering what to wear for your job's office party.

  • Insider spoke with stylist and wardrobe consultant Kenzie Welch about her tips for dressing festive.

  • She suggests staying away from sequins, wearing velvet, and utilizing powerful accessories.

December is here: the season of gifts, snow, and work holiday parties.

Whether your job is hosting its festivities in the office or elsewhere, the pressure to dress to perfection is the same. How do you look fun, festive, and also work-appropriate?

According to stylist and wardrobe consultant Kenzie Welch, the answer this year is velvet suits.

"They look chic, sophisticated, and velvet fabrics are perfect for the holiday season," she said. "It gives that holiday look without being too over the top."

Actor Sveva Alviti wears a velvet suit to an Alberta Ferretti runway show in Milan, Italy.
Actor Sveva Alviti wears a velvet suit to an Alberta Ferretti runway show in Milan, Italy.Valentina Frugiuele/Getty Images

How to style an office holiday fit in 2023

While velvet pants and blazers might be ideal for a more formal work party, Welch says dark denim is the way to go if your office allows jeans.

"It looks a little elevated, but you're still comfortable," she said of dark-wash pants. "I would also add a cozy sweater and potentially a statement earring."

And the color of your outfit plays a huge role too. While red, green, and blue are always popular this time of year, Welch says there are two other trendy options this year: plum and pastels.

"I'm seeing a lot of pastel, sequin skirts that create a girly, feminine vibe," she said. "A really pretty pastel is nice with a winter-white sweater. It just adds a little something different, because most people are used to wearing festive dark colors. But I think doing a pastel is actually kind of cool."

Don't forget accessories

Welch, who regularly shares her fashion expertise with more than 851,000 followers across TikTok and Instagram, notes that earrings have the potential to "really change an outfit."

"If you're just wearing denim and a T-shirt, adding a festive earring — like a sparkle pair or bows, whatever it might be —can really help your outfit look instantly festive," she said.

In place of earrings, you could also opt for a sparkling headband, broach, or snap-on charm — one of Welch's top styling tricks for the holiday season.

"They're labeled as shoe clips, and you can easily find them on Amazon or in your local craft stores," she said.

While she recommends adding the charms — often shaped like crystals or bows — to everything from bags to jackets, she especially loves them on shoes.

"It helps you save money and it's a sustainable option for people who don't want to always have to buy a new pair of shoes," she said.

And don't forget about ribbon bows, either.

While some people are wearing the accessory in their hair, Welch says you can also add them to your dresses via broaches and belts.

"That very ballet-core-inspired style is coming into the holiday season," she said.

What not to wear: sequins

Welch notes that the most important aspect of any outfit is feeling comfortable and confident.

But if you do want to stay on trend at your job's holiday party, she has one major piece of advice: "The go-to look is a far cry from sequins. I would not go the sequin route."

"Sometimes sequins, when you walk into an event, they make it feel like you're going to a New Year's Eve party," she said. "Maybe it's not the most appropriate."

She also says it's key to keep an eye on your skirt length.

"A lot of working environments are casual, so it kind of blurs the line of what's professional versus what isn't," she said. "If you have to question it, or it's something that you would wear to a club, it's probably not appropriate — even if you add tights."

Where to shop, according to a stylist

Welch says online retailer Lulu's has "super affordable" options for the holidays and describes retailer Mango as having "the best affordable but elevated" pieces for work events.

She also enjoys Aritzia and, on the higher end, Nana Jacqueline.

But the best place to shop, according to Welch, is your own closet.

"If all else fails, go for an all-black look and just add a sparkly bag or shoe," she said. "You cannot go wrong."

Read the original article on Business Insider